Memo Pad: Hard Sell... Down But Not Out...

Now that it's a hit and moving to a new network, "Project Runway" has lots of magazines eager to partner up with the show for the sixth season.

Jane Pauley

Jane Pauley

Photo By WWD Archive

HARD SELL: Now that it's a hit and moving to a new network, "Project Runway" has lots of magazines eager to partner up with the show for the sixth season. As reported exhaustively (in WWD and other outlets), "Project Runway" will continue its relationship with Elle through season five, which airs on Bravo this summer. The Weinstein Co. is still in negotiations for all of its partnership and sponsors for season six, when the show will be broadcast on Lifetime. According to sources close to the reality show, five magazines are said to be courting The Weinstein Co. for the show — Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar and In Style — and will hold out for "the highest bidder." Of course, it perhaps is no coincidence that three of the magazines bidding are owned by Hearst Corp., which also owns Lifetime with The Walt Disney Co. (guess that's what's called "synergy").

WWD reported on Tuesday that Marie Claire and In Style were both interested in the show (according to insiders, In Style was approached to partner with the program at its launch, but declined). A spokeswoman for Glamour said Wednesday that the magazine was "never vying for the show or even in active discussions" with "Project Runway."

"Our magazines are often approached for potential television partnerships but all this speculation about 'Project Runway' is a bit premature," said a spokeswoman at Hearst Magazines.

As for Elle, it's focused on a new venture. CW unveiled its new show "Stylista" (not "Fashionista", the working title thrown about during its filming) at its upfronts on Tuesday, which stars Elle fashion news director Anne Slowey and creative director Joe Zee. The network described the show as "'The Devil Wears Prada' reinvented as a reality series." Eleven young contestants will compete for a junior editor position at the magazine. Viewers who watched early clips released on YouTube pointed out Slowey's hyperstylized appearance akin to Meryl Streep's character in the movie, and its campy take on fashion. Zee, however, was confident about the show's appeal. "There definitely will be a lot of people watching the show to play along. That's the great thing about reality shows — you want to make the audience want to have that participation, as in 'I would have done that challenge like this.'"
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